Psalm 146:2 (ESV)
2I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.
You can either trust the God who made everything, or you can trust something that’s been made.
A human. You can put your trust in a person to provide for you what only a creator can. It’s tempting to trust another human at times since humans are the closest thing to God on this earth, and we can see humans and touch and smell them. Humans are made in God’s image. But there’s no sense in trusting somebody who’s end isn’t going to be much different than your worst fears for yourself. Our psalm for prayer this week warns us:
Psalm 146:3–4 (ESV)
3Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.
4When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish.
An idea. There might be an idea out there, an ideology, or a political party platform, or a compelling philosophy that lures your affections. Don’t buy it. Don’t fall for it. There’s nothing new under the sun. Somebody who is going to die at some point made up that idea at some point. It’s not all that compelling when you see it from that perspective. Talk to yourself, and remind yourself the need to praise the Lord, not some man-concocted-wanna-be-solution to the many problems in this world no matter how compelling it is. Be involved, but cautiously. Be skeptical, but hopefully. But of all things, don’t make somebody’s idea the object of your faith.
Psalm 146:1 (ESV)
1Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!
A lust. There are good ideas, and there are bad ones. A lust would qualify as a bad idea. A lust is the crooked replica of something good. Sex. Food. Money. Fame. Security. All of those are good things. First, however, God made them. None of those things exist outside of creation. And then we messed up everything in creation, and got all crooked ourselves when we fell into sin. So now things are crooked because we’re all crooked, and nothing crooked is going to give you a straight walk with God. Crooked lives end poorly.
Psalm 146:9 (ESV)
9The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
A false god. Maybe in our sophisticated, STEM heavy culture, we’re not bowing down and chanting in frenetic tones in order to drown out the cries of a victim being sacrificed to a false god, but there are still plenty of mindless chants and consumer frenzies going on. We’re certainly not above thinking that “just a little more” is actually going to make THAT difference that the human heart universally longs for. And there are other false gods that somebody made up at some point. They don’t exist really, except as a figment of someone’s imagination. Don’t let them do your thinking for you. Rather…
Psalm 146:5 (ESV)
5Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God,
That’s your best bet, the real God who made Jacob and made real promises to people like Jacob, trickster and conniver though he was. In fact, it’s your only bet if you’re going to get it right. And it’s good news. If God would make and keep promises to Jacob, then he will no less do that with me. Jesus’s death, burial, and resurrection prove it. All my hope is in him because all of my faith is in him. It may be sad and paltry faith, but it’s only in him. And it only makes sense to trust him who made all things rather than some of the “all things” that have been made.